Troup’s appointee for Police and Fire Commission fails to gain council support…again

Troup and commissioners

QUINCY — After a litany of public speakers who spoke in support of the Police and Fire Commission and, in some instances, chastise Mayor Mike Troup, the mayor’s nomination of Angela Caldwell to that commission failed for the second straight week at Tuesday’s Quincy City Council meeting.

Retired Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley said he worked for about a dozen commissioners during his 42 years on the Quincy Police Department.

“They’ve (the commissioners) been taking it on the chin lately and I wanted to give them a few words of support,” Copley said. “They’ve been professional. They’ve been, I think most importantly, non-political. I’m very pleased and proud to have worked with all the commissioners, and worked for all of the commissioners, I have for 42 years.”

Former commissioner Kerry Anders, who referred to the mayor as “Trump”, “Mr. Trump”, “Troup” and “Mr. Troup” during his three minutes, said the “lack of communication” between the mayor and the commission falls at Troup’s feet.

“He has created a number of challenges for police recruiting,” Anders said. “Not once has he contacted police leadership to address these issues…he spends very little time with the police department…the collective bargaining agreement has expired…he has used the residency requirement as a bargaining chip.”

“The only thing the commission did wrong was stick with the original ordinance the city had (regarding the police and fire chief selection process). We let…Mr. Troup…have a little piece of the pie and instead he wanted to take a whole piece of the pie,” Anders said.

Commission Chairman Barry Cheyne said police staffing is a nationwide issue said he welcomed the investigation Troup has called for into “both sides” of the police chief selection process.

“What’s the end state here,” Cheyne asked. “Hope to find an issue with the police chief selection process? Invalidate the selection? Bring last fall’s proposed ordinance to the floor and make the police chief selection promised by the mayor all along?”

Troup has confirmed hiring Springfield attorney Rick Stewart to conduct the investigation that is underway. Alderman Greg Fletcher (R-1st Ward) asked how Stewart was being paid and Troup said it was at “an hourly rate” and he had not yet determined which fund would pay for the investigation.

Fletcher called for a roll call vote on Caldwell’s selection that ended 6-6 among aldermen with Dave Bauer (D-2nd Ward) abstaining. Mike Rein (R-5th Ward) was absent.

Troup cast a “yes” vote to make it 7-6, but the appointment needed eight votes to pass, according to council rules. Troup said he believed he would’ve gotten enough votes to pass if all of the aldermen had been present. Rein voted in support of Caldwell at last week’s meeting.

Fletcher, Jeff Bergman (R-2nd Ward), Kelly Mays (R-3rd Ward), Mike Farha (R-4th Ward), Richie Reis (D-6th Ward) and Patty Maples (D-6th Ward) voted no on the appointment while Eric Entrup (R-1st Ward), Brianna Rivera (R-3rd Ward), Tony Sassen (R-4th Ward), John Mast (R-5th Ward), Ben Uzelac (D-7th Ward) and Jack Holtschlag (D-7th Ward) voted yes.

Steve Meckes, the commissioner Troup is trying to replace, remains on the commission until March 1.

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